Explore Luzon and the Visayas Tour

Day 1 Arrival in Manila

Meals: none
Meet your driver upon arrival. He will transfer you to the hotel. It is the start of your Explore Luzon and the Visayas Tour.
The rest of the day is free for leisure.
Overnight at the Amelie Hotel

Day 2  Manila

Meals: B L
Your guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel for your private day tour of Manila. Drive to Fort Santiago where we start our exploration of Intramuros. Visit the interesting Rizal Museum and learn about Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Visit Casa Manila, which is a replica of the Spanish colonial mansion of late 19th century Manila. It is filled with period furniture and furnishings of Philippine, Chinese, and European origins.

Continue to San Agustin Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and visit their museum. Continue on foot to the walls of Intramuros. We will walk on top of the walls and down to Rizal Park. From here we drive to Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world. Here we start a short walking tour and have lunch in a very special Chinese restaurant. The final visit today will be to the Chinese cemetery which is a city in itself with some very interesting mausoleums. Return to the hotel.
Overnight at the Amelie Hotel

Mausoleums Chinese Cemetery Manila

Chinese Cemetery Manila

Day 3  Manila -Taal

Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. Drive to Taal Lake to Explore Luzon further. Drive down a winding road to a small local community along Taal Lake called Talisay, the jump-off spot for the trip to Taal Volcano. Taal Volcano is the smallest volcano in the world. Its unexplained shape and location on an island within a lake within an island makes it a unique geological wonder. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines and part of the “Pacific Ring of Fire”.

Board a motorized outrigger boat to Taal Volcano Island. Walk up the soft black lava sand for about 1 hour (optional: ride a horse) to the rim of the crater to have a close-up view of the caldera. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the lake within the lake.
Return to the mainland where you will have lunch. Take the boat back to Talisay. Check into the Balai Isabel.
Overnight at the Balai Isabel

Day 4   Taal – Angeles

Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. Drive to Pagsanjan. You will be dropped off at Pagsanjan Lodge where you will board a dugout canoe for the trip to the falls. As your boatman starts rowing upstream the sight of lush greenery & towering cliffs unfolds before you. Scenes from Francis Ford Coppola’s epic movie “Apocalypse Now” were filmed in the Pagsanjan Gorge.

A bamboo raft will take you underneath this waterfall for a small fee (not included). Your trip downstream is an exciting experience as you “shoot the rapids”! Your boatman will skillfully maneuver the boat between the rocks & boulders until you reach the calm river of Pagsanjan. It is time to change your clothes and enjoy your lunch. After lunch, we will drive to Angeles. After arrival in Angeles enjoy some free time.
Overnight at the Oasis Hotel.

Day 5  Angeles – Pinatubo – Angeles

Your guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel. Drive to Capas and onwards to the start of your Pinatubo adventure. The eruption of Mt.Pinatubo in 1991 was an apocalyptic event. It has created a lot of damage and misery but also breathtaking scenery. You will drive and trek up to crater lake today. You will board a 4×4 jeep. The journey across Crow Valley is bumpy, dusty, and without air-conditioning or seat belts but it is lots of fun and a great adventure.

The terrain is moon-like with grey sands, small streams, and parched vegetation. You will pass by herds of cattle and probably will meet Aeta, Luzon’s indigenous population. After a rough one-hour ride across Crow Valley, you will start trekking to the crater lake. The terrain is relatively flat until the last 20 minutes when you ascend to the rim of the Crater Lake. Enjoy the fantastic views. Walk and drive back to the starting point from where you will be transferred back to the hotel.
Overnight at the Oasis Hotel

The crater lake of Mount Pinatubo Explore Luzon

The Pinatubo crater lake

Day 6   Angeles – Manila – Bacolod

After breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. Drive back to Manila. Your driver will drop you off at the airport.
Fly from Manila to Bacolod
Welcome to Negros Occidental!
Your driver will meet you at the airport. He will transfer you to the hotel.
Overnight at La Planta

Day 7 Bacolod

Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel. Drive to Silay City. First, we will visit the Balay Negrense (the “House of Negros“). This museum will give you an idea of how a sugar planter in the lived 1800s lived. You will also visit the Jalandoni and Hofileña ancestral houses (if the tour is on Monday you will see Balay Ni Tana Dicang instead). We will walk around the heritage area of Silay. You will have lunch in a local cafeteria offering local dishes.

After lunch, proceed to the Gaston Mansion, a beautiful Spanish-style white mansion. We will stroll around the sugarcane plantation, and visit the unique Chapel of Cartwheels as well as Hacienda Crafts. Here beautiful handicrafts are made out of bamboo and other local materials are being done by hand.
Drive back to Bacolod and a quick visit to The Ruins on the way. This is a mansion built in the early 1900s that was destroyed during World War Two.
After this, we will return to Bacolod.
Overnight at La Planta

Day 8 Bacolod – Cadiz – Bantayan

Your driver will meet you at the hotel. Drive to Cadiz where the ferry for Bantayan will leave at 0900. Make yourself comfortable for the boat trip which takes about three hours. Upon arrival, your driver and your guide will meet you at the pier. Welcome to Bantayan!!!
He will transfer you to your hotel which is located right on the beach. Check in and enjoy the rest of the day on your own.
Overnight at the Anika Island Resort

Day 9 Bantayan

After breakfast, your private boat will be waiting for you. Together with your boatman and private guide, you will explore some of the offshore islands. The boat is a local boat but provides cover against the sun and has lifevests. At a leisurely speed, we cruise through this archipelago. Most people at Bantayan live from fishing or other sea-related activities such as harvesting seaweed or collecting shells. We admire the lush mangrove forests of this wonderful area. We will visit a fishing village where you can see some of the above-described activities. There is time to chat with the people and take pictures.

The Panitugan Bridge

We leave the village and make the short trek through coastal and mangrove forests to a bamboo bridge, the Panitugan Bridge. Villagers constructed this bridge to allow children from Panitugan island to go to school on Moamboc island. We cross this beautiful bridge and trek to the school. We say hello to the pupils. It is a short visit as we don’t want to disturb the lessons. We hike back to our boat.
We continue cruising and will spend time on a wonderful deserted beach. Here we will stay for a while. It’s time for snorkeling and swimming. Your guide will show you how he prepares a typical fisherman’s lunch. You can assist him. After a delicious seafood lunch (with seaweed!) we will bring you back to the resort where you will arrive at 1400.
Overnight at Anika Island Resort

White beach on Bantayan Explore Luzon

Bantayan Beach


Day 10 Bantayan

Your guide will meet you at the hotel after breakfast for your cultural immersion tour of Bantayan. The island has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. Today we will use only local transportation. The main transportation will be the tricycle, a motorbike with a sidecar. We will do some stretches by pedicab or trisikad, a local bicycle taxi. It’s good fun and makes for great photo opportunities. We will visit the market of Bantayan which has an extraordinary offering of dry fish and other sea products.

Your guide will explain and let you taste some of it. We continue to the Peter & Paul Parish church, established in 1580. We continue to Obo‑ob Mangrove Garden, a community-based mangrove protection project. Then we take the mangrove walkway and have lunch at the restaurant. On the menu will be local imbao soup! Imbao is a seashell. You will love it! After lunch, we will transfer you back to the hotel.
Overnight at Anika Island Resort

Day 11 Bantayan

Free day to enjoy the beach or to explore Bantayan on your own.
Overnight at Anika Island Resort

Day 12 Bantayan – Cebu City

Your driver will meet you at the hotel. He will transfer you to the pier. Board the ferry. Another driver will meet you and transfer you to Cebu City. He will drop you off at the hotel.
Overnight at Montebello Hotel

Day 13 Cebu Cotu – Panglao

Your guide and driver meet you at the hotel. Drive to downtown Cebu. You will start the walking tour at the Cebu Heritage Monument from where we will walk to an interesting old house of the Jesuit monks. You will learn about Cebu’s religious history by visiting the Basilica del Santo Nino, the most famous church in Cebu. From here we will walk to Magellan’s Cross, which was established by Spanish and Portuguese explorers in 1521.

We will continue to the Carbon Market, Cebu’s most interesting fresh food market. Your guide will buy you local snacks to taste or any fruits of the season. To end the walking history class of Cebu you will visit Fort San Pedro, a military defense structure built by the Spaniards. Then we will board the Oceanjet to Tagbilaran on Bohol.
Meet your driver on arrival. He will transfer you to the resort.
Overnight at the Oasis Resort

Day 14   Panglao

Your guide will meet you at the hotel. Start your private exploration of this beautiful island. We will head for Bohol’s most famous landmark: the Chocolate Hills. We will pass through a beautiful man-made forest of mahogany trees to a butterfly garden. Visit the lovely butterfly garden. Continue to the Chocolate Hills. They are covered in green grass that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name. Enjoy the view before we drive to Loboc. Here we will make a cruise on the Loboc River. Lunch will be served during the cruise (please note that during peak season, this could be a little crowded).

World Heritage Churches of Bohol

After lunch visit the Loboc Church. This church was on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites together with the Baclayon Church. Both churches were damaged during the 2013 earthquake. Continue to the Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary in Corella. The tarsier is one of the smallest known primates, endemic to the Philippines. Our last stop will be the Baclayon Church. This church was built of coral stone and is one of the oldest churches in Bohol. We will visit the museum of the church. After an entertaining day, we will drop you off at the hotel.
Overnight at the Oasis Resort

Day 15   Panglao

Free day. Enjoy the beach or go on one of our optional excursions.
Overnight at the Oasis Resort

Day 16
Panglao – Balicasag Island – Panglao

Early morning departure from the resort. Transfer to the pier. We will board our private boat at Baclayon. Enjoy the early morning sunrise. The waters off Bohol are home to at least 11 species of dolphins and whales, including the spinner dolphin and the sperm whale. We usually spot the spinner dolphins. It’s a great sight and we will spend time here to enjoy the playful dolphins. We will cruise to the small island of Balicasag where we will spend the afternoon. After a delicious lunch, there is free time for swimming and snorkeling. Just off the beach, there are some great snorkeling areas. At the end of the afternoon, we will board our boat for the trip back to Bohol. Transfer back from the pier to the resort.
Overnight at the Oasis Resort

Day 17
Panglao – Cebu City

The morning is free for leisure. Your driver will meet you at the hotel. He will transfer you to the pier and assist you with formalities.
Board the Oceanjet to Cebu City.
Meet your driver. He will transfer you to the hotel.
Overnight at the Montebello Hotel

Day 18
Cebu City – flight home

Meet your driver at the hotel. He will transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

End of your Explore Luzon and the Visayas Tour.